The Income Tax Department has provisionally attached over 1,600 cases of properties under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, worth Rs 4,300 crore, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
These properties include both movable and non-movable assets — from lands, flats, shops, vehicles to bank account deposits, the Finance Ministry tweeted quoting Shiv Pratap Shukla.
“The value of properties under attachment is more than Rs. 4,300 crore including immovable properties of more than Rs. 3,400 crore,” the tweet said.
“Suitable action under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988, inter alia, against the benamidars & beneficial owners has been taken by the Income-Tax Department (ITD). However, category-wise details of the persons are not maintained by ITD,” the Finance Ministry added.
The Benami Transaction (Prohibition)Amendment Act, 2016, seeks to prohibit the benami transaction irrespective of the method by which such property, both movable and immovable, is acquired. Shiv Pratap Shukla on July 24 had replied to a question asked in the Rajya Sabha. The minister also stated that the I-T department has set up 24 dedicated Benami Prohibition Units across India.
Last week, the government also announced a reward for reporting cases of benami transactions. The tax department revamped its reward to up to Rs 5 crore to informants who give specific information about any tax evader or black money holder.
The reward scheme was started by the Modi government in April 2018 to encourage the public to report cases where illicit money is involved. The ‘Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme 2018’ regulates the granting and the payment of a reward to the informer on benami properties.